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tv   Panel Discussion on American History  CSPAN  December 24, 2013 1:30pm-2:16pm EST

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percentage, one that's above the average, a good teacher, they're gaining a little bit. and so tour in a row -- four in a row, if by chance you got four in a row of the 60%, but the damage -- it's like you lose an entire grade with that one teacher. so that's what i'm referring to, the roadblocking. i do want to clarify one thing, because when you look at all the data and the things that the book says, these are the things you find that will close the gap, everyone goes to this thing, you know? fire the teachers, fire the teachers. that's not what the research says when i look at it impartially. that's not -- if you said to me you can only do one thing, that's not the thing i would do. if you said i could only do two things, three thoings, that's still not the thing you should do. so that is not -- everybody's attention is always on that. that's not what the research says is the thing that's pulling everything down. so just want to -- you know, you brought it up because you're
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provocative. >> one of the cases of -- >> yes, yes, and it's the one that's most like, you know, ah, that's the one. >> but it is one of your five. >> it is one of the five. >> so i wasn't off base. >> no, you're not. will[laughter] >> i think you're argumentive, but that's okay. [laughter] >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> and now from the 30th annual miami book fair international on the campus of miami-dade college, a discussion with nathaniel philbrick, author of "bunker hill: a city, a siege, a revolution." and brenda wine apple, author of ecstatic nation: confidence, crisis and compromise. this is about 45 minutes. in. >> good afternoon, everyone, and i'm sure you've had a number of welcomes to the book fair, but i'm going to give you one
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anyway, so we're very glad you're here. this is a discussion about two of the most significant periods in american history, the revolutionary war era before the, before america's birth as a nation and the runup and the after math of the civil war when america experienced its near-death as a nation. in "bunker hill," nathaniel philbrick chronicles boston in 1775 when british troops occupied the city and soon engaged a patriot militia in the bloodiest battle of the revolution and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists. nathaniel lives in nantucket where he is a recognized authority on the history of the island, though he told an interviewer that i don't think it's ever possible to plum the depths of this island's rich history. and sailing and sea faring, his previous book withs include mayflower which was a finalist for the 2007 pulitzer prize for
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history. in the heart of the tea, he won the national -- sea, he won the national book award for fiction. revenge of the whale won an award, and sea of glory won the theodore and franklin roosevelt naval history prize. he holds a bachelor's in english from brown and a master's in american literature from duke. he was the university's first intercollegiate all-american sailer. a month ago he won the new england book award for bunker hill from the independent booksellers association. perhaps his passion for his subject can be demonstrated from this july 21st blog post from mystic seaport nor be connecticut when he attended the launching of the newly-restored charles w. morgan, america's only surviving 19th century whale ship. he said, the picture he posted along with his blog was, quote: taken at the moment of impact as a christening bottle containing water from all of the seas upon which the morgan ever sailed was
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bashed against the bow. next i'd like to introduce brenda wineapple. she is a nonfiction wrirks a literary critic and essayist of a static nation, a new york times reviewer in august noted that brenda takes the reader on a different road traveled by my other histories of the civil war, the growing gulf between north and south, familiar scenery, and then suddenly a multicar pile-up, the civil war. but instead of that usual ride, reviewer david reynolds, a friend of wineapple, takes us on a different ride. think the monaco grand prix, zigzagging, sometimes precipitous with hairpin turns. its history in realtime full of plans that backfire, schemes foiled by chance, outliers to suddenly change everything and and happy endings that turn out not to be too happy after all. besides the at thetic nation,
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brenda's books include white heat,, hawthorne: a life, sister/brother gertrude and leo stein. she is a regular contributor to the new york times book review and the nation and editor of the selective poetry of john greensleaf whittier, a volume in the library of americas american poets project. in 2009 she received a pushcart prize, a guggenheim fellowship, a fellowship from the american council of learned societies and two national endowment for the humanities fellowships, among others. last year she was elected a fellow of the american academy of arts and sciences. brenda was a former director of the leon levy center for biography at the graduate school at -- [inaudible] in new york. she teaches in the mfa programs at the new school university and columbia university school of the arts and has taught at sarah lawrence college and union college in new york where she was irving, washington irving professor of modern literary and
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historical studies. please welcome brenda wineapple and nathaniel philbrick. [applause] and nathaniel philbrick. [applause] >> on my way over here, nathaniel and i talked about how both of these subjects are obviously the most -- among the most notable eras of american history. how could we characterize a comparative deal between your book and brenda's when it comes to intensity, and relevance, where both in the revolution and the civil war. there wasn't very much of a clear future in either era. >> i was thinking about this question when i heard about the great opportunity to be paired with brenda, and my bunker hill
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begins actually -- begins and ends with john quincy adams. it begins with him at seven years old, standing on a hill with his mother, then in her early 30s, on june 17, 1775, watching the battle of bunker hill from a hill about 12 miles away. and later in his life he would record in his journal that it was an experience -- an unforgettable experience. both of them were weeping as the watched the british navy unleash cannon balls on the patriots gathered on bunker hill. but really what hit him the most was learning a few days later that their family doctor, dr. joseph warren, had been killed at the battle of bunker hill during the last british charge, and this was devastating for john quincy, whose father
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was now penning more and more time away, actually on his -- then at the second continental congress 300 miles away in philadelphia. and the death of joseph warren that moved him so deeply that for the rest of this life, he would refrain from attending celebrations of the battle of bunker hill in charlestown, and so my book begins with that, and joseph warren is a major character, one i think a lot of us don't know a lot about. we think of the other adamses, john quincy's dad and samuel adams, but the book ends with john quincy adams 68 years later, on june 17, in the 1840s, with the building of the bunker hill monument, built on bunker hill, and once again he refused to attend, and yet he
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watches once again from the family home where he sees the smoke of a cannon go off that reminds him of that time, and at this time in his life, john quincy adams, a president, is now a lowly u.s. congressman who is taken up the fight against slavery, because what he realizes is the work that his doctor, dr. joseph warren, and his father, worked so hard for, is not over, and we segway to brenda. >> very interesting. a pleasure to be here. thank you for the introduction, grate to be here with nathaniel philbrick, and especially feel like as nathaniel was saying, baton has been passed, and the baton is john quincy adams and not necessarily a name that we conjure with anymore you think
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of -- i don't know -- washington and jefferson and madison and later, of course, lincoln, and even later than that, grant, and going forward. john quincy adams was not really known for his presidency. he was more known for what happened, as na thannal said for his post-presidency when he actually goes into the house of representatives. and also nobody as the man of refusal, and that word is interesting to me because one of the very last words that he utterred was, no. a word of refusal. and my particular book starts with the death of john quincy adams in 1848, standing up and saying, no, as a particular issue that was a vote on whether or not to give more medals to mexican war veterans, and he had been john quincy adams had been opposed to that war and he was opposed to decorating generals who fought in what he felt was a
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greedy war and one that was continue ringing the death knell of the union because of the issuery of slavery and was not looking good for the country. and so here was a man who had served his country well, both as president and then in the house of representatives, userring -- uttering, no, and ending his life, and that was a watershed moment, not just because of the mexican war, but because john quincy adams was the descendent of john adams and all of the founding fathers, and we entered a different world now. we're not in the revolutionary era. we can't look back in the same way we're looking forward, and what we have to look forward to is a series of refusals for good and ill that come to be known as
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the period before, during, and after the civil war. so, it's very interesting kind of continuity in that particular way that we see history asles being embodied by humans who have such a direct and powerful response to it. >> did you looks at how thorn and witness publish whittier and other genres contribute to your decision to write this book? >> absolutely. hawthorne, i'm also interested in the fact that nathaniel hawthorne, man who died during the civil war in 1864, was also man -- we also associate with salem, the early witchcraft trials, was really -- 17th 17th century american, not 19th century northwestern, yet a man who met abraham lincoln. he called abraham lincoln not one of the homeliest men he ever met as a matter of fact, and if
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that wasn't enough, hawthorne was president of the united states, franklin pears, and when we think of hawthorne, we think of the writer and recluse and scarlet letters and we don't think of politics and he was very involved in politics, actually, and it was a very political time. whittier, just to finish up, answering the question, whittier was the quaker poet from massachusetts. we're both from massachusetts. i grew up in the town where whittier was from so i had whittier rammed down my throat as a girl. didn't like him much, and when the library of america called me to do the book of whittier, thought, oh, well, all right. and i re-read him and he -- i had been too young for him, and besides being a very good poet, he was a wonderful man in many ways, and was a long-time abolitionist, which mean he was
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even more than antislavery. he didn't want any gradual ending. so i was interested in these literary figures and they're role in history. >> i think it's interesting, brenda and i kind of come from history -- come to history from a similar literary place. my graduate degree is in american literature, and i live on nantucket, largely because i really like moby dick. >> he does. it's great. >> i wrote a little book about that. >> i'm a fan. >> and -- likewise, but continuing the -- i was actually named for nathaniel hawthorne. >> really? >> yeah. it said that his biography of franklin pearce was the biggest book of text he had written. >> it was, and he dedicatessed -- when he dedicated a book to franklin pearce, ralph waldo emerson cut
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the dedication out. so it was very interesting. so we have that similar background. nathaniel's books on the essex, the whaling ship. >> and whittier, to continue with that, he wrote a poem called, the exiles, which describe otherwise thomas macy, the founding english settler of nantucket, fled puritan persecution and got on a boat with his family and imagine cloy 12 other people and fled the puritans to found nantucket. so just down the street from where we live is the house where supposedly whit you're wrote "the exiles." that's interesting. nantucket has a long-standing quaker community and frederick douglass, after he -- before he was well nobody, lived on nantucket, and the american antislavery meetings were often held there, and i remember -- i
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don't remember -- i wasn't there -- but i feel like i remember that he spoke in nantucket. >> we're very proud on nantucket that frederick douglass, the first time he spoke before a white audience was in nantucket, and his wonderful book, the narrative of his life, ends with that scene so on nantucket we take great pride -- >> and credit. >> right. >> looking at some of the figures who were known to people as established players, when the revolution finished as well as when the civil war was completed, george washington, for example, 1775, seemed to be somewhat of an out lie -- out-ly 'er. >> when i came up with the book, my concern was, washington, the
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walking marble man, and what us he going to really be a buzz kill once he arrives on the scene after the battle of bunker hill. anything but. i mean, it's just fascinating to see washington. a man from virginia, arriving in new england. a couple weeks after the battle of bunker hill -- and this is a new england army. these are people whose idea of diversity is, okay, i'm from massachusetts but i'm willing to serve in an army with someone from new hampshire. and then to have this plantation owner arrive, and he realizes, this is an army that, because they have grown up with the new england town meeting -- which is a wonderful form of government in which basically people argue until finally they come to a decision. the soldiers in this army, when given an order, would say, fine, that's -- we understand that's what you want us to do, but we'll discuss this before we agree to do that.
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and this drove washington crazy because he had arrived with the miss placed hope he was going to whip these people into a professional army, and it was -- god bless him, he stuck with it. it was not pretty, but with washington you see the beginning, where this very in-grown group of new englanders begin to think of themselves not just from massachusetts or new hampshire, but begin to realize, whoa, we have to think of ourselves as americans. >> and i get a similar question for the period you cover, 1848 to 1877. there were individuals who were kind of out of sight, going in -- >> right. >> the conflict. >> those figures' insight, the opposite in some ways of washington, the man of marble, what are you going to do with him? you come at him as a writer. i had lincoln, which is the opposite in the sense that he is
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not a man of marble, a man who is headliner in movies -- he certainly was before. he is known, quoted, beloved, and i thought to myself, he can't possibly be as good as people make him out to be. and when i'm asked one of the discoveries of the book, and there were many for me -- one of the discoveries is that lincoln is bottomless and he is brilliant, he is as much a figure of history, too as a figure of literature, because he is a wonderful stylist and in many ways i think we wouldn't remember certain things in the way we do if it hasn't been for his great literary achievement. at the same time, there were those outlyers as you're calling them, people who had been forgotten from history, and like lydia child, who was an abolitionist for a long time.
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when i grew up in massachusetts, she was known for poems and i don't think i can quite quote, over the hill and through the woods to grandmother's mothers we go. for thanksgiving or something like that. which is something that was said and i wanted to run away from as best as possible, but i fine out that not only was she an active abolitionist, but she fought to win -- for women's rights and indian rights and actually wanted to go down to harper's ferry to virginia in 189 and take care of john brun in fact, and john brown wisely told her not to come, but what she did was engage in a series of public letters with the wife of the governor of virginia, and they were published, and it was -- these were letters about slavery. and they were talking about what
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john brown had done in virginia and the woman in the south was saying, you know, how -- you don't care about your workers in the north, but you care about southerners and what -- aren't you a mother? she wasn't. don't you care about children? and lydia marie charles would say, i care about children, but we don't sell our children. and it went back and forth in this particular way. and find out these are people who in some sense have been lost or sidelined, and they're so very, very important, and they were so famous in their own day. which is fascinating, too. >> the news obviously has been chockablock with 50th 50th anniversary and discussion to look back to the kennedy assassination. 1865, after abraham lincoln was killed, who was it that took us
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forth in light of the assassination, to essentially bring forward social policies that take you up to the end point of the book, 1877. >> well, one couldn't have avoided, probably didn't want, to the last week of commemorative programs about the assassination of john f. kennedy, and some of you probably have heard or have heard, the work most recent book on johnson, and one of the things he talked about i find very interesting, is the transition of power from, of course, kennedy, to johnson, and the fact that was such a seamless transition because you had this horrible event, and suddenly -- and the government doesn't crumble. and of course, when that is going on, i, who lived in the 19th century, think about the lincoln assassination, and the
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transition at that particular time to another johnson, andrew johnson, from tennessee, who was put on lincoln's ticket in 1864 election. i don't think anyone would have thought -- maybe they did -- lincoln was always thinking more of the thought, understandably but that andrew johnson would be president, there was a great deal of talk he was drunk at the inauguration, so, there was a transition which was right after -- days after -- it's hard to imagine -- days after appomattox. days after the war, and some in the south were actually still fighting. they didn't want to stop fight, and andrew johnson is the next president, and a lot of knee. congress, called the radical republicans, they looked to johnson and thought johnson would be a good guy and one of them, would actually implement the social policies that so many people had fought for, and they
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were sadly mistaken in him as it turned out, and in fact johnson was almost impeached, just about a couple years later. so, it was a very rocky transition in this particular case, not because the government didn't work, but because you're just coming out of a dreadful, horrific war. >> that's the theme that i came to recognize in my book as well, that all of these things we see as inevitable, whether it's the revolution, the rise of george washington, lincoln's indispensability, all this stuff. once you get in it, as i know you do in your book, you begin to realize how messy everything was. there was no sense of destiny. everyone was seized with doubt and concern and anxiety, and all of these things merge in a way that is eerily reminiscent of any time, particularly our time. it wasn't a time when they were
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more clear-sighted and better than us. they were living in extraordinary times and they were ordinary people, doing the best they could. and i find that very heartening in that, whether it's washington, the man of marble you begin to realize, no, he was a human being, put in a very difficult situation, that challenged the very nature of who he was, and somehow began to re-enew jersey a do -- reemerge, and washington was an incredible leader because he had the unusual ability to realize, i have to change course here. lincoln could improvise in a way. and then had this tremendously pragmatic sense that these -- this is the right thing, but to achieve it, we're going to have to make it work, and that's so unusual, is that you combine a real sort of ideaistic vision with a sense of, okay, people
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really only do things they want to do, and how do we use that to make this higher good happen? and then those kinds of leaders are so rare, and i think one of the amazing things about american history is they seem to appear just when we need them. >> hopefully. one can only hope. the wonderful word he uses, it's so useful, is improvisation, that someone like washington is. providing, and history is not static, and may flower is not static, the bunker hill is not static, revolutionary period is not static, and people are us in a sense, and we are improvising. you don't know what is going to happen next, and especially in the time of the war, whether it's the revolution or civil war or battle of bunker hill or gettysburg. >> don't know how -- you don't know how it's going to turn out and you're left with a whole
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different political climate perhaps. i was just thinking about sherman taking atlanta, and in some sense that secured lincoln's election in 1864. it turns the tide because people suddenly feeling good, we can go forward. we don't have to negotiates a peace. >> brenda, as a fellow writer, i have a question for you. i know when i -- some of my books are about very iconic things-it's the may flower, the pilgrims, bunker hill. we know how it's going to work out. i find myself, when i'm actually writing the book, when i'm really there and a chapter when everything is up for grabs, that in that i'm feeling like, my gosh, what's going to happen next? you get that kind of sense of, i'm in there, that this could go anywhere? >> yes. first of all i want to say that it's a great feeling have when i
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read your books. i mean it as a highest compliment in the sense we do know how certain things come out. we do know who won the war. this war, that war. we do know that washington becomes president. all of those things. so, the trick in writing history is to write it as if you don't know it, and in a certain sense when you're on the ground, and that's what i mean about my living in the 19th century -- the way in which you don't know it, and it's because you're not -- i think it's because -- i would ask you this -- because we don't think of outcomes. we think of process. we think of how we get to that outcome. so, i'm fascinated. i sit -- lunatic but i sit and i read the congressional globe, which is like theater, really. it's like reading plays because this one is thaddeus stevens speaks, and sumner -- it's a lot of people speaking, and even though it's been cleaned up, it's not -- they didn't have tape recorders -- you feel that
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people aren't thinking on their feet so you forget about the outcome. you're involved in the way people see events in real-time. >> yeah. it's completely -- as a writer, i was trained as a journalist, and what i'm often finding is for me, in journalism, you try to come up with a sense of howl life is lived in the present, and my relationship with the past follows that kind. i'm just trying to figure out what happened? as best i can, and given the fact that sources are not always there, and there's always questions of evidence and all those things, but that's what you're ultimately trying to do, is get a sense of what was it like when all of this was happening? and peel back that sense of destined people, and realize how messy it was, and how easily it could have gone another way, and i think it doesn't -- i have
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a -- with each book i don't come away with, oh, you know, this is how we should go in the future. we're, as myon tick and confused as they were then. the question is what you do when you're in the middle of it. >> different kinds of questions, for example, bat war for me was, i -- you know issue can tell you what happened at bull run. i'm not a military historian and that doesn't move me, but then it suddenly occurred to me, how did people know what happened at these various places? how did they get their information? who were the journalists on the ground. speaking of journalism remainedded me of that. how did they dispatch their stories? what happened? did they -- were they ever captured? there were a lot of questions. was the coverage in the south the same as the north? so when you start asking those kinds of questions as well as
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questions about motives, i think you begin to find different pathways into the past and as i said, you begin and you certainly do this in nathaniel's book, youiv tre >> right. and it's, you know, so often we're both writing about well known topics. what amazes me is how little i know about every topic i begin with. each book is out of my ignorance, i want to try to figure out what happened. but you find that testimony, that, for example, in "bunker hill" i was describing the day after lexington and concord, you know? and, you know, we think of that shot heard round the world, everything's going great for the patriots. but if you go into the town of boston and that news is hitting everyone, everyone is terrified. .. literally can't walk, and i found this journal of a woman who was there at the time, and that was her
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situation. she and her female friend, they were so terrified, they wanted to get out, anything to get away from these 9,000 british soldiers in boston. but we can't literally walk, and so finally her husband puts them in a carriage and took them out and basically left them at the door of the minister in rocks bury, and off they go. you just begin to realize, what the emotions people were feeling. a. comes to me is a real revelation, that it it isn't just connecting the dates of even. it isn't just connecting the dates of the events. you realize that human cost, not only in terms of life's but how traumatic. look at john quincy adams, where 70 years after the battle of bunker hill he still sees it in his head and that is in forming what he is doing he is looking at the challenge of slavery. >> we have approached the question time from the audience. if you have any questions please
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go to the microphone and pose a question to nathaniel. >> we are ecstatic today to have you here and i think across the street we have all men whose book founding for florida as well as those we've had it today. in reading your books i think that there is one constant thing that struck me and that is the theme of racism and how deeply seated it is in our history. for example, nathaniel, the mayflower and how quickly the colonial forefathers and mothers turned against native americans. one of the most stunning statistics or facts i found in your book was the number of families of that were lost completely unaware of that.
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but you do a brilliant job of tracing racism and another ted gup that i think that your book will be recognized as the landmark in history because you providing continuity between the balance of the civil war and reconstruction. you have done a brilliant job pulling the together. but emphysema that seems to be raised and you take it to one other level that is laudable it isn't only race that it's the threat of the vote, extending their right to vote and to women. my question is this. do you have any thoughts in terms of what are the causes of that racism in our american history? it seems to be very much alive today in terms of many states including ohio just last wednesday trying to restrict
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that right to vote. >> you are right. you can generalize it to the intolerance. looking back to the pilgrims. they came not looking for religious freedom but to worship as they want to and they wanted to make sure everyone else did and ultimately, that kind of attitude they were bumping heads with the native americans who kept them from dying, and in a bunker hill i think you have to look at where america becomes america. it's washington realizing that on november 5th of 1775, all of the officers and his army from a massachusetts want to celebrate something called the night that is basically an anticatholic demonstration in which the north and south bend would have their own car to the caricature of the devil and the pope on them and the point was to steal the other
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and beat up as many people as possible and this is what the officers wanted to celebrate on november 5th, 1775 as we are presiding over the siege of washington and washington writes a resolution that basically says are you kidding? here we are in the midst of the war and we want catholic friends to come in on our side and you have the audacity to pull something like this and what he is saying is it is the old prejudice is what is racial that's not going to work and slavery is the ultimate one in america is a process hopefully grinding those down until we are all looking at each other as human beings. >> it is redefining citizenship which happens certainly 19th century can you see it because it becomes more and more
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complicated who is a citizen when you emancipate the population howl how you make of those people citizens and the prosecution for citizens. then if the qualifications for citizens are extended to black men, what about black women and white women? are the citizens and then made americans, should they be citizens because they are native americans after all. but i think that nathaniel is on to something when he says in tolerance mode. i've always understood the kind of racism that you're talking about as hot rod and a sense of a fear of the other and new see that in nativism in the 19th century there was a political party that was the know nothing of the american party and they were based on nativism.
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there was an anticatholic party in that sense and it is really kind of astonishing. and so yes, we hope that these prejudices' our ground down, but i think the idea of citizenship, voting rights few and you see that after the civil war when black men are put against black women and white women against who gets to vote and it's interesting you see that same kind of hit fact in 2008 when barack obama was pitted against hillary clinton. they are on the same side but people were displeased with both of them and wanted to see them
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as adversaries. in certain senses they were so it is complicated and ongoing i think, and i think it is in every culture by the way. i mean i think it certainly is part of our legacy that the citizenship is constantly with france and other places constantly being reinvestigated. sorry to go on. >> could you discuss the role or the lack thereof among the political opponents of compromising during the times you looked at and how it relates to day to the political factions that you see compromised in the equivalent to treason? >> i guess that's for me to the of the subtitle of my book is confidence, crisis and compromise and one of the sort of seems if you will is the issue of compromise because not only do we hear about the compromise, but the actual word
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was constantly being bandied about and you have people shouting in the senate or in the house of representatives on will not compromise or william lloyd garrison saying no compromise with slaveholders and so, the whole issue of compromise is a contended issue in the same sense it is today he because in some sense you could argue that someone like garrison is staking out a moral position and absolutist position and one feels very absolute when it comes to abolishing slavery, but the position means you cannot compromise and so what about positions that are not quite absolute, then when you become pragmatic and that is where lamken becomes an because in some sense he was a pragmatist and he was willing to compromise and that's why many men and women who were more radical than he was thought that he was a little bit slow with regards to
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emancipation but he was working slowly because he believed in pragmatic approach, the government so that you could get a lasting peace and you could actually abolish slavery. some compromise is an interesting issue and sometimes pragmatic and sometimes works and sometimes necessary but sometimes so meaningless as to become terrible as in the compromise of 1876 when you have a contested election who really didn't win the popular vote. we forget about him that it was an interesting moment in history. he didn't win the popular vote but then again many people were not allowed to vote in the south so this so-called compromise was to get him into office as long as people dhaka federal troops out of the south so that it would end reconstruction. so it's not you're compromising people's welfare in that particular case and we are debating those issues today and i don't think there are easy answers to them.
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>> we have time for one more question. >> you mentioned to link them -- lamken and i wonder if you can mention that more in the context of the evolution of his views on slavery and a general question for both, given the very interesting comments about how all times are messy when you look at them in the present as you do it is an illusion that we look back and think of things as having been much clearer. so what perspective does that give each of you in terms of so many people now feeling we have such a dysfunctional government and how we go forward. but on the prospective for having looked at the periods that seem hopeless perhaps. what does the future look like? >> to one of the things i am amazed that is the this functionality of times that we look back as functional between
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lexington and concord and bunker hill. we think of them as all resolute and knowing where they want to go that you see the congress of not knowing what to do what are we doing making army. all of those kind of things. and my only take away on this, and it's so dangerous to make the close parallels because people have very different points of view and their whole sense of reality was different but the one thing that i come away with is that you have to be humble about the present and not think that there's anyone that has it figured out. you need to find in terms of leaders need to find the people that can do that juggling act of pragmatically achieving things that are for a greater good. and it's not -- it cannot be the
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standoff of fine right and you're wrong. it has to be let's begin a conversation and resolve it as the main aim and that is the one thing i saw with this revolution is they had juries all that because they were in the midst of the war and it's a wonderful -- what it does is it creates and requires people to come up with something otherwise it's over. and i think that sort that is why these books exist in trying to make sense of that. >> the only thing i would add in that particular case in that particular context is one of the things he represents it seems to be one of the things he is able to do two things really is important, one is to emphasize. they called him and he wasn't really a republican, wasn't at
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all a republican and found in his brief meeting with lincoln a man of geniality and kindness and people often said that. it doesn't often come through history, kindness. but he was able to end this debate to empathize with people in different walks of life and different color and circumstances and be able to see their point of view and i think that was enlarging to him and ultimately enlarging to the country and i think that's very important and i think the other thing that becomes important and that we think about is we don't have predictions and pronouncements for today, but i think what is significant is also the ability people could have an interest and people who've made the changes often are people that have a capacity to change their mind. and i think one of the things that people say about again going back to lincoln because you asked about him was the capacity to grow and


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